Sponsorship disclosures in YouTube vlogs How disclosures affect adolescents’ perception of the

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2018-06-26
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en
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This experiment, conducted among Dutch adolescents (n = 158, aged between 12 and 16), addressed the effects of disclosing sponsored content in YouTube vlogs on both attitude towards the endorsed brand as well as perceived vlogger credibility. It was theorized that vlogger credibility functions as a mediator in the relationship between disclosing sponsored content and attitude towards the endorsed brand. Furthermore, it was theorized that disclosing sponsored content in vlogs has less negative consequences for those feeling a strong para-social interaction with the vlogger. A one-factor (disclosure / no disclosure) between-subjects design was used to test the hypotheses. No evidence was found for the proposed effect of disclosing sponsored content on adolescents’ brand attitude. However, disclosing sponsored content did lead to a less credible perception of the vlogger. Furthermore, vlogger credibility did not function as a mediator; and para-social interaction with the vlogger didn’t moderate the mediation. This study proves that the credibility of the vlogger suffers from transparency about sponsored content in YouTube vlogs, while adolescents’ attitude towards the endorsed brand remains unaffected. Practical implications for both policy makers as well as marketers are discussed.
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Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen